NBA Finals Preview From a Betting Perspective

Mar 17, 2021

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The NBA season has reached the halfway mark with the completion of the All-Star game and now teams make their final push for the playoffs. After the Los Angeles Lakers, led by NBA superstar LeBron James, defeated the Miami Heat in six games in the 2020 NBA Finals, the Lakers looked like the team to beat for the 2021 Finals.

With other teams around the league gearing up to take down LeBron & Co., the odds to win the 2021 NBA Finals are getting a bit clearer as we get into the latter part of the season. If you’re making a bet on who will take home the Larry O’Brien Trophy when it’s all said and done, here are the top five betting favorites to win the 2021 NBA Finals.

#5 – Milwaukee Bucks (+900)

The Milwaukee Bucks are currently the team with the fifth-best odds to win the NBA Championship in 2021. Led by superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Bucks were shockingly defeated by the Heat in the 2020 playoffs in only five games. This season, the Bucks currently sit in third in the East and have their eyes set on getting to the NBA Finals.

With Giannis averaging almost 30 points a contest and a solid supporting cast of Khris Middleton, Jrue Holiday, and Brook Lopez around him, the Bucks could be primed to potentially knock off the reigning champs. Currently sitting at +900, the Bucks would be a risky bet to take, but the payoff could be huge if they can withstand the playoff run.

#4 – Utah Jazz (+750)

The team that currently has the best record in the Western Conference has the fourth-best odds to win the 2021 NBA Finals at +750, according to Oddshark. The Utah Jazz is being slept-on by the oddsmakers and could really be a threat to dethrone the reigning champions. With a perfect blend of youth and veteran leadership, this team has created what seems to be an ideal matchup for Los Angeles.

With a young star in Donovan Mitchell, veteran leader Mike Conley, and current Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert, the Jazz is primed for a deep run in the playoffs. What separates them from the rest of the pack? The Jazz has great bench scoring in the form of Jordan Clarkson and sharpshooter Joe Ingles. If you want a sleeper pick with some real juice behind it, the Jazz might be the team to take.

#3 – Los Angeles Clippers (+550)

The other Los Angeles basketball still appears to be one of the Lakers’ biggest obstacles to win the NBA Finals in 2021. According to Oddshark, the Clippers’ odds at winning the title are currently sitting at +550. The Clippers appear to be a stacked team on paper, featuring Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, Serge Ibaka, Nicolas Batum, and Patrick Beverley.

Off the bench, the Clippers feature some serious scoring threats in Lou Williams, Reggie Jackson, and deep threat Luke Kennard. If the Clippers can stay healthy, they seem like a safe bet to dethrone LeBron and the Lakers to keep the title in Los Angeles.

#2 – Brooklyn Nets (+275)

After signing free-agent forward Blake Griffin, the Nets appear to be THE team to beat in the Eastern Conference. The team has a starting lineup that consists of Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, DeAndre Jordan, and James Harden, along with Griffin.

With all this star power on the court, Brooklyn is doing its best to prevent the Lakers from being repeat champions. They have the size and scoring from their starters to beat just about any team in the league, but will their lack of quality depth hinder them in the playoffs? Even though Oddshark has them with the second-best odds to win it all, it may seem like a risky bet.

#1 – Los Angeles Lakers (+250)

It should come as no surprise that the reigning champions of the NBA are the team with the best odds to win it all in 2021, according to Oddshark. LeBron James is playing just as well as he ever has and his supporting cast only got better this offseason. While Anthony Davis and Marc Gasol are currently nursing injuries, James is getting support from offseason acquisitions Montrezl Harrell and Dennis Schroeder.

While most teams that win championships are generally dismantled, the Lakers seemed to get better. They are likely the safest bet to win it all in 2021, especially once Davis and Gasol are healthy for the playoff run.